Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Section B. Attacks against combatants
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines requires soldiers to “fight only enemy combatants”.
The Joint Circular on Adherence to IHL and Human Rights (1991) of the Philippines states:
When the use of armed force is inevitable, strict controls must be exercised to insure that only reasonable force necessary for mission accomplishment shall be taken and shall be directed only against hostile elements, not against civilians or non-combatants.
The AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) of the Philippines provides:
8. General Rules for the Correct Use of Force towards Mission Accomplishment
l. Once a force is declared hostile by appropriate authority, AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] units need not observe a hostile act or a demonstration of hostile intent before engaging that force.
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) states: “By International Humanitarian Law, it is authorized to neutralize enemy forces by reasonable means while in combat.”